Euwin Noel loved his bikes.
Sadly, yesterday around 5:15 p.m. Noel met his death doing what he loved. The 49-year-old collided with a car along Sion Hill main road, St James, and his cycle shattered to pieces. He died at the scene.
For ‘Leo’, as he was affectionately known, the Sunday evening ride was a routine, and his family would have never imagined that it would end in a tragedy.
They are now in a state of shock, particularly his mother Judith Noel, who he especially close to.
His brother, Nicholas Noel, recalled how they got the news, telling Barbados TODAY he still cannot believe his brother is gone.
“I usually go up by my mother on Sundays for food and I had just finished eating. I was outside reading the paper and one of his friends who is also a biker came. At first we thought it was Leo, and I was telling myself he back very early because he usually comes back home around nine or ten in the night. When he took off the helmet, I realized it was not him.
“His friend said something and I didn’t hear him well, but I thought he was asking if Leo inside so I told him, ‘no he gone riding’.
It was then that Nicholas was made to understand what happened to his brother.
“He asked if mom inside and I told him yea. How he got off the motorcycle, I knew something was wrong.
“I asked him if something wrong with Leo and he just shook his head. Then he broke the news and told us it not too long happen. He told us he felt for a pulse but didn’t get one so he left the scene and came to her to inform her face to face as opposed to over the phone.”
Nicholas recounted the last conversation he had with his brother, which happened just over an hour before the tragic accident occurred.
“The last time I spoke to him was yesterday evening about minutes to four. Normally, I would drive his car. It would sometimes give problems with the ignition when you turn it, so he told me just tap on it and it would be ok. That was the last time we spoke,” Nicholas recalled, shaking his head.
His aunt Sharon Elliot, who spoke on behalf of the family but did not want to be photographed, said her 75-year-old sister, Euwin’s mother, was still very shaken.
When she was allowed to view his body on the scene just after 8 p.m. yesterday, she was overcome with grief and broke down in tears.
“His mother, my sister, her pressure was up, but it come down a little bit now. The doctor came to see her today to make sure everything was doing ok. She suffers from high blood pressure. She is just laying down now. It’s really hard on her,” Elliot said, revealing that, Leo lost a brother tragically ten years ago and that his mother now has only Nicholas, who is her youngest son.
“Leo was a fun loving person. I’m not saying that because he is dead. But that is just who he was. He was never one to get into anything with anyone. He just liked riding,” she added.
“He [was] really friendly, a dedicated worker. If he had to get work at three, he would leave home at about 1:30 [a.m.],” she said of the former Accra Beach Hotel employee.
Nicholas echoed her sentiments, describing his brother as very down to earth and “always chill”.
“He liked a lot of fun. Whatever he had, he used to take care of it well.
“We had our little quarrels as brother but since our dad passed in 2012, we got closer,” he added.
President of Black Knight Riders Fabian Reeves also remembered Euwin as a very cool guy who would be greatly missed.
“Euwin was a very quiet guy. I never heard him raise his voice. You could ask him about anything. He loved bikes. He loved his machine. Whatever it cost him to make his machine the best on the road, he would spend it,” Reeves said, noting that he recently started to ride on the track up Bushy Park, St Philip in the hope of riding professionally.
“He used to practice regularly,” Reeves added.
He also told Barbados TODAY that what made Euwin’s death even harder for them, was having to break the news to his mother because “he was the apple of her eye”.
“He and his mom were very close. Everything was his mom for him. When he died, the guys were finding it so hard to take the news to her. We used to joke a lot with him telling him its soon 8 p.m. so we have to get him home early because his mother couldn’t rest well if she didn’t hear the bike come in.
“So that was the hardest part after dealing with his death. Facing his mom was rough. Nothing else in this world was more important than his mom,” he added.
Reeves also took the time to dismiss any misconceptions that all bikers ride dangerously. He said this was especially not true for Euwin, describing him as one of the safest riders he knew.
“Euwin was very careful. He (wasn’t) one that would do stunts. He just liked to get from point A to point B. He just liked the feeling of being on a motorcycle and that was just his excitement. He just used it as a way to de-stress.”
He said the group would be doing something special for Euwin, who would have turned 50 on August 31.